THE ROYAL VOLUNTEERS
 


 

VOLUNTEER AND MILITIA CORPS OF THE FRENCH ARMY
SEVEN YEARS' WAR
 

Images Added January 2014

Volontaires de Geschray
 

Notes
 

To supplement the regular infantry and cavalry of the line, the eighteenth-century French Army raised a number of volunteer corps, mostly composite "legions" including both infantry and cavalry. Unlike regular regiments, the volunteer corps were raised on the authority of royal warrants issued to prospective commanders. These warrants came with a sum of money sufficient for the commander to raise, uniform, arm and equip his troops. Few questions as to the origins or qualifications of the men so enlisted were asked. The infantry battalions and companies of the volunteer corps carried drapeaux d'ordonnance and in most cases a white Colonel's Color was authorized as well. Cavalry companies and squadrons (mostly dragoons and hussars) were usually authorized to bear a swallowtailed guidon.

The regular French army was backed up by an organized militia that was uniformed, armed and equipped similarly to the infantry of the line. Militia troops were often incorporated into the regular army, either as complete battalions or as reinforcements for regular infantry regiments. All battalions carried a drapeau d'ordonnance of standard design, but no Colonel's Color was authorized.

Note on the Illustrations: For the infantry components of each corps, the Colonel's Color is shown on the left and the drapeau d'ordonnance is shown on the right. Militia battalions did not carry a Colonel's Color.
 



 

Volontaires Royaux (1745-58)  •  Légion Royale (1758-76)

 

Volontaires Brentons

 

Volontaires Soubise

 

Volontaires Etrangers

 

Volontaires d'Austraise

 

Volontaires de Flandre

 

Volontaires de Geschray

 

Volontaires de Hainaut

 

Volontaires de Würmser

 

Milices de France
 



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